Friday, September 30, 2016

Heavy hitters: Obesity rate soars among professional baseball players

Major League Baseball players have become overwhelmingly overweight and obese during the last quarter century, say health researchers. They found that the athletes' weight held steady for over 100 years, with the majority of them weighing in at what is considered "normal," -- i.e., with a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9. However, around 1991 the average player's BMI began to rise, and over the last 25 years nearly 80 percent of players fall into the overweight or obese category with a BMI above 25.

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Now is the lightest you will weigh all year

As swimsuit season wanes and the holiday season edges closer, Americans everywhere should take a moment to enjoy the current state of their waistline. For the average person, the time just before the start of the holiday season is the low point in an annual weight gain pattern that peaks during the holidays and takes nearly half a year to fully shed.

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This 10-Minute HIIT Cardio Workout Is The Definition Of Hardcore

Here is a time-efficient HIIT cardio workout that hits your full body. Prepare to work up a major sweat.

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5 Lower Body Moves That Also Work Your Abs

You might even be doing them already.

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A 2-Move Butt Workout With No Squats Or Lunges

You've never tried this booty-burning routine before—from the set-up to the moves themselves, this will break you free from any butt workout rut.

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The Best Cardio Workouts At The Gym

These workouts are far from your regular routine and also burn an insane amount of calories. That's why we call them the best cardio workouts at the gym.

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Why Strength Training Helps With Weight Loss

Here's how strength training can help you meet your weight-loss goals.

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Pure Ride Performance

Article Sep 30, 2016

A cycling class that’s fun and designed to boost endurance and power? We’re in!



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Thursday, September 29, 2016

The 2 Crucial Fitness Habits That Helped 1 Woman's 90-Pound Weight-Loss Story

Kayte Hennick is healthier, happier, and stronger than ever after working hard for her own weight-loss story.

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6 Tips For Having A Fit Pregnancy, From A Pregnant Celebrity Fitnes

Future #FitMom and celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser shares how she’s managing her own fit pregnancy—even when she doesn't feel like it.

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Men with high genetic chance of bowel cancer could have lower risk with healthy lifestyles

Men with a high genetic risk of developing bowel cancer over the next 25 years could have a lower risk of developing the disease if they also have a healthy lifestyle, according to a study.

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Overweight and obesity linked to high workers' compensation costs

Obese and overweight workers are more likely to incur high costs related to workers' compensation claims for major injuries, reports a new study.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How baby's genes influence birth weight and later life disease

Genetic differences have been found that help to explain why some babies are born bigger or smaller than others. It also reveals how genetic differences provide an important link between an individual's early growth and their chances of developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease in later life.

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Randomized trial suggests eating bread made with ancient grains could benefit heart health

Eating bread made with ancient grains could help lower cholesterol and blood glucose, a recent randomized trial suggests. Compared with modern grain varieties which are often heavily refined, ancient grains offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profiles. They also contain beneficial vitamins (B and E), minerals (eg, magnesium, iron, potassium), which protect against chronic diseases.

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Diabetes in children is a chronic, but treatable, disease

For those people living with diabetes, every day requires around-the-clock monitoring and management, explain experts. This daily monitoring can be a particular challenge for young people who also have to be attentive to when and what they eat and drink, as well as their activities at home, in school or while hanging out with friends. Even a minor ailment like a cold may require changes in the medical regimen because of the effect inflammation has on the blood sugar.

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Tackling obesity in rural communities

Currently, excess body weight contributes to as many as 1 in 5 cancer-related deaths. Obesity is associated with increased risk of at least eight types of cancer. Now obesity has been identified as a health risk that is “quickly overtaking tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer.”

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Here's What STRONG By Zumba Classes Are Like

STRONG by Zumba classes combine a killer bodyweight boot camp workout with party vibes and pumped-up music.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New therapeutic treatment helps people lose more weight and keep it off

A new approach to weight loss called Acceptance-Based Behavioral Treatment (ABT) helped people lose more weight and keep it off longer than those who received only Standard Behavioral Treatment (SBT) according to a new randomized controlled clinical.

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The spice of life: Cinnamon cools your stomach

Adding cinnamon to your diet can cool your body by up to two degrees, according to research. And the spice may also contribute to a general improvement in overall health, say authors of a new report.

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Fatty diet activates oldest branch of immune system, causing intestinal tumors

A high-fat-diet-induced immune reaction causes inflammation leading to intestinal cancer in a mouse model – even among animals that are not obese.

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Building a Foundation for Clinical Trials of Natural Products

Over the years, I have often been asked whether the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) will fund clinical trials of natural products. The answer is, “Yes.” NCCIH funds clinical research of natural products, including herbal products, botanicals, products marketed as dietary supplements, and probiotics.



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A 10-Minute Upper Body Strength Workout

This upper body strength workout is all about your arms and shoulders. The routine is quick but tough, all you need is a set of dumbbells.

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Fecal bacteria linked to body fat

A new link between the diversity of bacteria in human poo -- known as the human fecal microbiome -- and levels of abdominal body fat, has been identified by scientists. The research provides further evidence of possible genetic influences on obesity, through heritable bacteria found in the fecal microbiome.

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New theory on how insulin resistance, metabolic disease begin

Does eating too much sugar cause type 2 diabetes? The answer may not be simple, but a study adds to growing research linking excessive sugar consumption -- specifically the sugar fructose -- to a rise in metabolic disease worldwide. The study, conducted in mice and corroborated in human liver samples, unveils a metabolic process that could upend previous ideas about how the body becomes resistant to insulin and eventually develops diabetes.

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Morning sickness linked to lower risk of pregnancy loss

Nausea and vomiting that occurs in pregnancy is often called "morning sickness," as these symptoms typically begin in the morning and usually resolve as the day progresses. For most women, nausea and vomiting subside by the 4th month of pregnancy. Others may have these symptoms for the duration of their pregnancies. The cause of morning sickness is not known, but researchers have proposed that it protects the fetus against toxins and disease-causing organisms in foods and beverages.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Why belly fat is dangerous for the heart

Increasing stomach fat – especially the “hidden fat” in your abdomen – is associated with newly identified and worsening heart disease risk factors, according to a study. These adverse changes in cardiovascular risk were evident over a relatively short period of time and persisted even after accounting for changes in body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, two commonly used methods to estimate whether someone is a healthy weight or not.

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Excess dietary zinc worsens C. diff infection

The consumption of dietary supplements and cold therapies containing high concentrations of zinc is now being called into question, following research that suggests it may worsen Clostridium difficile infection.

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Consuming fewer calories reduces the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm, study suggests

Mice placed on a low-calorie diet are less likely to develop abdominal aortic aneurysms, according to a new stud. The paper suggests new ways to prevent the often fatal condition from occurring in humans.

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Fall 2016 Running Sneaker Guide

Find the running sneaker that is right for you.

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14 Tips For Running Your First 5K

These easy tips can make a big difference on race day.

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Exercise can increase levels of hunger-promoting endocannabinoids even if you are sleep-deprived

A research group has investigated how levels of endocannabinoids -- which target the same receptors as cannabis -- are affected by short sleep duration, and whether acute exercise can modulate this effect.

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Women with hearing loss more likely to have preterm or low birth weight babies

The first study of birth outcomes in women with hearing loss finds significant differences when compared to women without hearing loss, scientists report.

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

This Is Why Running Makes You Poop

Got runner's trots? Here's why running makes you poop, and what you can do to control it, or prevent it from happening in the first place.

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How Fitness Trackers Can And Can't Help You Lose Weight

A new study adds to the chorus.

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11 Times The Experts Say You Should Skip Your Regular Workout

That whole "no excuses" thing isn't always entirely true.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

5 Fitness Secrets From A Celebrity Trainer

Fitness pro Ashley Borden shares the advice she gives her clients.

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A Morning Yoga Workout For Your Abs

Try this yoga workout for your abs first thing in the morning.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sweet news: Sucralose is not linked to cancer, study finds

In a society where obesity is increasingly recognized as a risk factor for disease, low- and no-calorie ingredients are logical choices for those wishing to manage their weight.  However, some people have concerns that sucralose, a no-calorie sweetener, may be linked to cancer.  A new article may finally put those fears to rest; a comprehensive review of studies testing the safety and carcinogenicity of sucralose has confirmed that the artificial sweetener does not cause cancer, and is safe to ingest.

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3 Foam Rolling Exercises For Tight Hips

Here are a few simple foam rolling exercises to do if you have tight hips or sit all day.

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A 10-Minute Total-Body Strength Workout That Will Power Up Your Week

Set a fitness goal—then go and crush it!

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Here Are 3 Of The Most Effective Butt Exercises

These at-home butt exercises will strengthen and firm your backside.

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New research delimits the possible causes of celiac disease

The amount of gluten could be a more important clue than breast-feeding or the timing of the introduction of gluten for continued research into the causes of celiac disease (gluten intolerance). This is one of the findings from several extensive studies of children with an increased genetic risk of celiac disease.

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Delaying motor neuron loss

A potential treatment to delay motor neuron loss and symptoms has been discovered in the inevitably fatal motor neuron disease (MND). Researchers have reported that triheptanoin, a synthetic triglyceride oil, might help to address problems with energy metabolism associated with the neurodegenerative disease.

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Bile acid uptake inhibitor prevents nash/fatty liver in mice

Drugs that interfere with bile acid recycling can prevent several aspects of NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) in mice fed a high-fat diet, scientists have shown. The findings suggest that these drugs, known as ASBT inhibitors, could be a viable clinical strategy to address NASH, an increasingly common liver disease.

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First report from nationwide bariatric registry examines outcomes of surgical techniques used in popular procedures

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, a newer type of weight loss surgery that reduces the stomach size by about 75 percent, is a safe procedure with a low morbidity rate, researchers have concluded after analyzing information included in the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) database.

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3 Pilates-Inspired Moves That Really Work Your Core

These mat exercises work the muscles you can’t see.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

You can’t blame your genes if you don’t lose weight, study finds

You might be able to blame your genes for weighing more and increasing your risk of obesity, but you can no longer blame your genes for failing to lose weight, a comprehensive study has found.

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Listening to the body: Study examines the effects of fasting on infections

When people get sick with viral or bacterial infections, they often lose their appetite or avoid certain foods. According to a new study, such sickness-related food preferences may correlate with the type of infection and the type of diet the body requires to fight the infection. The study findings could have implications for how doctors treat patients with acute infections, the researchers said.

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Study Provides New Information on Mechanisms Involved in Touch Sensation and Self-Perception of Body in Space

NCCIH-supported study gives insights into mechanisms involved in touch, and sheds light on the role of proprioception—the ability to sense the body’s position, equilibrium, and movement through space―on health and survival.



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“Sixth sense” may be more than just a feeling

NIH study of rare genetic disorder reveals importance of touch and body awareness

A gene called PIEZO2 controls specific aspects of human touch and proprioception, a “sixth sense” describing awareness of one’s body in space.



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Getting the best help for overweight young people

Obesity among children and teenagers is on the increase worldwide. More and more people use food as a reward or a source of comfort, or as a way of escaping from the world around them -- with the result that they often become overweight. Researchers in Norway are looking into how best to help overweight children and teenagers.

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A 5-Minute Morning Meditation Has Changed The Way I Start My Day

See ya later, stress.

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Can nicotine protect the aging brain?

Everyone knows that tobacco products are bad for your health. However, according to research, it turns out the nicotine itself--when given independently from tobacco--could help protect the brain as it ages, and even ward off Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease.

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Fungus in humans identified for first time as key factor in Crohn's disease

A fungus has been identified as a key factor in the development of Crohn's disease, an international team of researchers has identified for the first time.

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What's in a Name? What Every Consumer Should Know About Foods and Flavors

Is flavor labeling on food packages misleading? FDA helps ensure that it isn't.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Gut bacteria differ between obese, lean youth

Children and teenagers who are obese have different microorganisms living in the digestive tract than their lean counterparts, according to a new study.

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Activity trackers are ineffective at sustaining weight loss

Wearable devices that monitor physical activity are not reliable tools for weight loss, says a new study. The study specifically investigated whether regular use of commercially available activity trackers is effective for producing and sustaining weight loss. Participants without physical activity trackers showed nearly twice the weight loss benefits at the end of the 24 months.

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A tough day could erase the perks of choosing 'good' fat sources, study finds

The type of fat you eat matters, but a new study suggests that the benefits of good fats vanish when stress enters the picture. This study is the first to show that stress has the potential to cancel out benefits of choosing healthier fats.

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6 Exercises You Can Do In Bed

And a quickie workout that puts 'em all together, if you're feeling ambitious.

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How To Do Bicycle Crunches

This exercise targets three major parts of your core–but only if your form is on point.

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The Bodyweight Workout Supermodels Love

This buzzy London trainer is known for his effective routines.

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6 Women-Only Running Races

Baby you were born to run!

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That Moment When: Alyssa Murray

The professional lacrosse player shares how she bounced back from injury.

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This Video Of A Model Working Out With An Olympian Will Make You Sweat

We can't even keep up.

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The Best Week Of Workouts For Weight Loss

Having a game plan for success has never been simpler.

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A Short Oblique-Targeting Workout To Try

The rest of your body isn’t totally off the hook, though.

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8 Workout Tips That Worked For Real Women

Here are the totally doable habits that helped them lose weight, shape up, and feel great.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Diet and exercise may improve physical function and quality of life in older obese adults

A recent review and analysis of published studies since 2005 found low-to-moderate evidence that dietary and exercise interventions can improve physical function and quality of life in older adults with obesity.

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Rate of hearing loss increases significantly after age 90

A new study examined if the rate of age-related hearing loss is constant in the older old (80 years and older). Scientists concluded that hearing loss rapidly accelerates over the age of 90. Furthermore, authors suggest that hearing aids are underused in this population.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

High-calcium, low-lactose diet may reduce risk of ovarian cancer in African-American women

A diet high in calcium and low in lactose may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer in African-American women, research indicates. The work also found sun exposure in the summer months may reduce the risk of developing the disease in this population.

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Brain benefits of aerobic exercise lost to mercury exposure

Cognitive function improves with aerobic exercise, but not for people exposed to high levels of mercury before birth, according to new research.

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Get virtual with your next challenge

Article Sep 16, 2016

Looking for a new way to push yourself? Mix up your routine with this unique endurance challenge



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The Right Way To Do Bicycle Crunches

Westend61 / Getty Images

Bicycles are one of the most common crunch variations, and for good reason: They may have a rep for being an amazing obliques exercise, but they sneakily target your entire core. 

“It’s very common for people to isolate each of their core muscle groups and do different exercises for them individually, but this can sometimes lead to muscle imbalances,” FitFusion trainer Kenta Seki tells SELF. “The bicycle crunch is a very effective movement that engages three of your major core muscle groups all at the same time.” Your entire core will become even stronger when these muscles learn to work together instead of in isolation.

“Lifting your head and shoulder blades during bicycle crunches engages your rectus abdominis, the upper muscles of your abs that are worked when you do crunches,” he explains. “The bicycling of your legs engages the transverse abdominis, which is worked when you do leg raises.” (These are the deepest of your abs muscles, and can be tough to target.) Finally, “the twisting of your upper body engages the external obliques, or what some people call their ‘side abs,'” says Seki.

With so many moving parts in one exercise, though, there’s even more room for error—and if you’re not doing it correctly, you won’t experience all of the awesome benefits of this superstar move (not to mention, you risk injuring yourself). Here’s how to do bicycle crunches the right way. 

Bicycle Crunches

BICYCLES

Whitney Thielman

  • Lie on your back with your heels out in front of you and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle (so your heels aren’t close in to your glutes). “This ensures you properly engage your quads and transverse abdominus,” says Seki.
  • “Place your fingers lightly on the back of your head with your elbows open wide,” he says. “Closing your elbows can decrease the range of motion during the twisting movement, which decreases the engagement of your obliques. Also it increases the likelihood that you’ll pull on your neck.” If you find yourself pulling on your neck, don’t interlace your fingers. 
  • Lift your chest up so your shoulder blades are just barely touching the floor—if you’re not lifted high enough, your upper abs won’t be as engaged as they should be. Keep your chin away from your chest and gaze slightly forward, because dropping your head too far back can strain your neck, say Seki.
  • Now, it’s time to twist. “Inhale, and as you exhale extend your left leg straight out, and twist your torso so that your left underarm rotates toward your right knee.” Think of it like you’re trying to touch your shoulder to your knee, not your elbow. “Make sure your left shoulder blade is completely off the floor and your right shoulder is still floating. This is to ensure your abs are doing the work, not your arms,” says Seki.
  • Bring your left leg back in as you extend your right leg out, twisting towards the other side.
  • That’s 1 rep. Do 20, and repeat the set three times.

Seki suggests incorporating this circuit two to three times per week during your usual workout routine. These crunches are definitely no bike in the park, but your abs will thank you later.

You may also like: A Simple Fat-Burning Workout You Can Do At Home

Related:

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Try This Bodyweight Sculpting Routine Before You Leave For Work

When London-based trainer Russell Bateman hosted pop-up classes featuring his killer sculpting moves, the workout generated global buzz. “A friend joked about how many actresses and models were into it, and I got the idea to call it the Skinny Bitch Collective,” he says. But don’t read into it: All sizes are welcome.  ”It’s about intensity—and togetherness.” Here’s the total-body routine he designed exclusively for SELF.

Try SBC in person at UpNOut Studio, our annual fitness extravaganza in NYC October 15–16. Get tickets here

How To Do The Workout:

Do 4 reps of each 30-second move in order, resting 30 seconds between each, 3 times per week.

1. Soldier Twist

PlyoTwist

Works arms, core, legs

Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands at sides. Bend at waist, to floor, and walk hands forward into a high plank. Quickly walk hands back to feet, bend knees and jump, turning around midair. Continue for 30 seconds.

2. Primal Crawl

PrimalCrawl

Works core, glutes, legs

Start in a high plank, knees gently bent. Crawl forward, leading with right leg and arm as you straighten left leg. Repeat on opposite side, then reverse direction to return to start. Continue for 30 seconds.

3. Hero Lunge

ClockLunge

Works legs, glutes

Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at sides. Keep left foot planted as you lunge forward, back, to right and diagonally behind left leg, standing after each lunge. Continue for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.

4. Hula Hoop

HulaHoop

Works arms, core, legs

Stand on toes with feet hip-width apart, arms overhead. Rotate hips as if you were twirling a hula hoop. Keep rotating hips with heels lifted as you slowly lower into a squat and then stand. Continue for 30 seconds.

5. Yes Kick

YesYouCanKick

Works shoulders, core, legs

Start faceup in a tabletop position. Keep hips raised and back straight as you kick right foot to ceiling. Bring right foot to floor; kick left foot. Continue for 30 seconds.

This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of SELF. For immediate access to our newest issue featuring Ashley Graham, subscribe now and download the digital edition. This full issue is available September 27 on national newsstands.

STYLING, TAYLOR OKATA; HAIR AND MAKEUP, HOLLY GOWERS FOR DIOR SKIN; MANICURE, KIYO OKADA FOR DIOR VERNIS; MODEL, TASHA FRANKEN.

The post Try This Bodyweight Sculpting Routine Before You Leave For Work appeared first on SELF.



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6 Exercises You Can Literally Do In Bed

WANDER WOMEN COLLECTIVE / Getty Images

For almost every lazy girl problem, there’s a lazy girl solution, even when it comes to your fitness game. When your head says workout but your heart says bed, you can have both, believe it or not. You can do these six exercises without even leaving your cozy comforter—but getting some movement in might just be the boost you need to get #UpNOut for real.

Chosen for SELF by FitFusion trainer Kenta Seki, these moves are all about you and your bodyweight (and for a couple of moves, a pillow, too). Try them on their own while you’re watching Netflix on your laptop next to you, or combine all six into a workout by repeating the circuit two to three times.

1. Forearm Plank — hold for 30 seconds

forearm-plank-1

Valerie Fischel

“This is a great exercise to get a lot of the muscles in your body engaged all at once,” says Seki. “Your core, quads, chest, and back all fire up and get stronger.”

  • Start with your forearms and knees on your bed, shoulder-width apart. Elbows should be stacked underneath the shoulders, your forearms straight in front of you on the bed.
  • Lift your knees off the bed and push your feet back to bring your body to full extension, so your body creates one long line. 
  • Keep your core tight and your hips lifted, and keep your neck in line with your spine. “Make sure you keep your weight evenly distributed between your hands and your elbows, without letting your elbows sink too deeply into your mattress,” says Seki. And keep breathing!
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

2. Downward Dog To Plank — 15 reps

DOWNWARD_DOG_PLANK

Whitney Thielman

“A big benefit of doing this exercise on your bed is the cushioning your wrists get from your mattress,” says Seki. “It can remove any strain you might normally feel in your wrists when doing them on the floor.”

  • Start in high plank with your hands and wrists stacked directly under your shoulders, your body in one straight line.
  • Keep both hands and feet on the ground, shift back into downward dog so your butt is in the air and your heels are closer to the bed. 
  • Shift forward into high plank. “Shifting forward and backward between these poses increases hamstring flexibility and tones your shoulders,” says Seki.
  • That’s 1 rep, do 15.

3. Pilates Roll-Up — 15 reps

PILATES_ROLL_UP

Whitney Thielman

“This exercise is great for strengthening your abs, while increasing the flexibility of your lower back and hamstrings simultaneously,” says Seki. “Reach for your toes a little further each time.”

  • Lie faceup on mat with arms resting on floor above head.
  • Float arms up so wrists are directly over shoulders, and begin to curl your spine up and off the floor.
  • Fold over legs, forming a “U” shape with body. Reverse movement to lower back to mat.
  • “If you have a very soft mattress and find it too difficult to perform a full roll up, place a pillow beneath your hips to elevate them slightly,” suggests Seki.
  • That’s 1 rep, do 15.

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6 Women’s-Only Races To Sign Up For With Friends

Thomas Barwick, Getty Images

Lace up with your girlfriends at these women’s-only races for newbies and seasoned runners. These are some of our faves across the country—sign up now!

1. Zooma Florida 12K + 5K

Take in sunny, beautiful Amelia Island on these oceanfront runs. Bonus: post-race massages and yoga. At press time, there were still spots left. October 22; http://ift.tt/2d2H5nk

2. Asics Vine Body Sole Half

Make it an epic girls’ weekend in Napa with a two- to four-person relay over rolling hills and past vineyards. Wine awaits at the finish line. May 2017; AsicsVineBodySole.com

3. Thelma & Louise Half & Relay

Enjoy Colorado River views on this flat out-and-back, where the film’s characters—like Thelma and Louise in their convertible—make cameos. June 3, 2017; MoabHalfMarathon.com

4. NYRR New York Mini 10K

Dig deep to cover 6.2 miles in hilly Central Park with more than 8,800 other women. There’s a girls’ dash before the adults collect their medals. June 2017; NYRR.org

5. Disney Princess Half Marathon

Stop and snap photos of your favorite princesses on this magical course through Magic Kingdom and Epcot before the park opens up. Don’t forget your tiara and tutu! February 2017; RunDisney.com

6. Gildan Espirit de She

Sign up now and head to Woodlands, right outside of Houston. Run along the banks of the waterway soaking in the blooming gardens and luxe shops. November 10, 2016; EspritDeShe.com

This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of SELF. For immediate access to our newest issue featuring Ashley Graham, subscribe now and download the digital edition. This full issue is available September 27 on national newsstands.

Related:

You may also like: Try This 10-Minute Plyometric Workout You Can Do At Home

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FDA: Cutting-Edge Technology Sheds Light on Antibiotic Resistance

FDA is using whole genome sequencing to determine if antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria found in other countries are also present in the U.S.

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That Moment When: Alyssa Murray

CHRISTOPHER COLLIE

Christopher Collie

 ”What do I want to be when I grow up? A professional lacrosse player!” declared Alyssa Murray in her third-grade yearbook. No matter that the occupation didn’t actually exist for women at the time: Murray played her heart out, becoming the star of her club and high school teams. But her childhood dream crumbled when she felt a pop in her knee during a game her senior year. “I’d torn my ACL,” says Murray, who was heading to Syracuse the next fall on a full athletic scholarship. “I was devastated.” The university honored her scholarship, even though no one knew when—or if—she’d play again. Immediately following surgery, still on crutches, Murray began physical therapy to regain her mobility. She built up to two grueling hours a day, five days a week, strengthening the muscles around her knee. It took six months before she was cleared to play. “I wondered if I’d ever be as fast as I was,” she remembers. The answer, happily, was yes. Murray was not only named a first-team all-American in college, she now plays in the new semiprofessional United Women’s Lacrosse League, which debuted this year in Boston. “It’s getting bigger and bigger,” she says. “I think in 10 years we’ll look back and realize the impact we had on women’s lacrosse.”

Alyssa Murray’s Road To Success:

5: Age at which Murray first picked up a lacrosse stick

362: Points she scored during her Syracuse career—making her second on the school’s all-time list

7: Number of goals Murray and her Syracuse teammates were down with less than 12 minutes left to play in the 2012 NCAA semifinals against Florida. In an epic comeback, Syracuse won. “It’s never over until it’s over,” says Murray, who calls the game her career highlight.

This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of SELF. For immediate access to our newest issue featuring Ashley Graham, subscribe now and download the digital edition. This full issue is available September 27 on national newsstands.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What vitamins, nutrients will help prevent glaucoma from worsening?

A healthy lifestyle, consisting of balanced nutrition, moderate exercise, and appropriate rest is an important part of your overall health and well-being and can help prevent illness too. A recent study specifically suggests that diet that includes plenty of green, leafy vegetables may lower the risk of glaucoma.

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A Sample Week Of Working Out For Weight Loss

Knape/Getty Images

If you’re trying to lose weight, you may know that adding more workouts to your weekly routine is one of the best steps you can take. However, it can be tough to come up with a perfect plan on your own if you have no idea where to start. Whether you’re totally new to fitness or just need some guidance, you’re covered here. Celeb trainer Adam Rosante, author of The 30-Second Body and C9 ambassador, came up with a plan for SELF readers to help guide you to success with any weight-loss goals you may have (when it’s paired with healthy nutrition choices and good sleep, of course). 

“This plan is highly effective, but totally accessible to all levels,” says Rosante. Here, he plans out your Monday through Sunday—all you have to do is show up and work hard. This mix covers all of your bases, but if you need to swap something out, that’s NBD—this is just an example week of the types of workouts you can be doing. Consider it a baseline to help get you going.

Here’s how to use this plan:

  • Check out the perfectly planned week of workouts tailored to weight-loss goals below. If you’re not trying to lose weight, that’s completely fine too—no matter what your goals are, this balanced fitness plan can be a great guideline.
  • Schedule your workouts for the upcoming week on your calendar and book your classes in advance.
  • If you need to replace a day with another workout, just be strategic about it. “Follow the spirit of each workout: Strength traininghigh-intensity cardio, mobility work and stretching, steady-state movement.” Maybe you swap out a sprint day with an interval training group fitness class, or you hit up a restorative yoga class on rest day. 

Now go get ‘em.

Monday: Total-Body Strength Training

“Strength training is the key to weight loss and unlocking your inner badass,” says Rosante. “You’ll burn fat, shape your body, and increase the number of calories your body burns at rest.”

This is because the more lean muscle your body has, the more energy it takes to maintain. This increases your BMR, or basal metabolic rate, meaning your body burns more calories at rest. This is a calculation of how many calories you’d burn if you just laid in bed all day. 

Rosante’s simple strength workout requires some floor space, a workout bench, and a set of dumbbells. The exact weight you use will vary, he says, but he does have some guidelines for choosing the right ones. “You want to be able to complete all of the reps without stopping, while keeping great form,” he says. “But your last few reps should feel very difficult to complete. You should feel like you could maybe do one or two more reps if you had to.” It may take some trial and error, and it’s better to start lighter when you’re just beginning. (Here are some more tips on choosing the right weight.)

Ready to get started? Here’s the total-body strength workout you’ll do three times a week.

Your Total-Body Strength Workout

1. Bodyweight Squats—15 reps. Quick tip: Get low, keep your chest up, and don’t let your knees go over your toes during this lower-body move.

2. Dumbbell Bench Press—12 reps. Quick tip: Position yourself so your head, back, and butt are all on the bench, your feet flat on the floor. 

3. Dumbbell Row—12 reps each side. Quick tip: If you don’t have a bench available, try a bent-over row.

4. Lying Isometric Y—Hold for 30 seconds. Quick tip: You can keep your legs on the ground for this one if that feels more comfortable.

5. Box Step-Ups—15 reps each leg. Quick tip: Alternate between your left and right leg, and for an extra challenge, step your lifted foot into a lunge as you come down from the box.

6. Plank—Hold for 30 seconds. Quick tip: Make sure you’re keeping your core tight!

Do the circuit 3x, resting for 1 minute between each round.

Tuesday: Sprint Intervals

Strength training is important for increasing your BMR, but the calorie burn payoff for high-intensity cardio workouts is more immediate. “Sprinting torches calories and gets the work done in a fraction of the time you’d spend jogging,” explains Rosante. This type of high-intensity interval training is especially effective because after skyrocketing your heart rate several times during a workout, your body uses more energy to get your body back to a resting state. 

You can do Rosante’s simple (but tough as hell) sprint interval workout on almost any cardio equipment. So no worries if you just can’t with the treadmill sometimes—you can also use an indoor cycling bike, rowing machine, elliptical, you name it.

  • 30 seconds: Full-out sprint
  • 60 seconds: Moderate pace jog
  • Do this 12x

Wednesday: Foam Rolling + 12,000 Steps

“Your body needs to recover after two days of intensity, but you don’t want to sit around doing nothing,” explains Rosante. “Foam rolling and stretching will improve your mobility and actually help to improve the quality of your workouts, [because] good mobility will allow you to achieve full range of motion in the moves. Executing these moves with a greater range of motion will force your body to exert more energy, and the more energy you exert, the more calories you burn.” A bigger range of motion means you’ll be able to squat deeper and lunge lower while using proper form. When the right muscle fibers are firing, you’ll get more out of every exercise. 

Now pair that mobility work with some walking. Walking is a low-impact movement that increases blood flow and will help speed recovery, Rosante explains. “Plus, the simple science of weight loss is this: Expend more energy than you intake. Walking counts!” So break out the activity tracker or down load an app on your phone around and aim to get a solid 12,000 steps in (a little more than the normally cited 10,000 steps). “If the goal is weight loss, an extra 2,000 steps per day helps you kick things up,” says Rosante.

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UK Biobank study suggests genes and environment interact to increase risk of obesity

New research shows that environmental and lifestyle factors have greatest effects on obesity in those who also carry the most obesity genes.

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Your diet makeover

Article Sep 14, 2016

Be ahead of the curve with these top diet trends



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Here’s A 2-Move Workout That Really Targets Your Obliques

Classic obliques moves like bicycle crunches and mountain climbers can often feel like an afterthought at the end of a workout, but if you’re looking to mix up your go-to core exercises and incorporate them into your sweat session (rather than burning through a few reps before hitting the showers), you only need two moves to do it.

When they’re paired together, kick unders and inchworms hit you in all the right places. “The inchworm is a total-body exercise that requires you to engage your core while stabilizing your spine,” says Justin Norris, co-founder of LIT Method, an LA-based fitness studio that focuses on low-impact training.  “This compound exercise works multiple muscle groups simultaneously, while elevating your heart rate.” So while it’s not hitting your obliques specifically, it is the perfect move for warming up your entire body and prepping your core for what’s to come. Plus, a higher heart rate adds to the calorie-burning potential of the entire workout.

Next up is kick unders, which hone in on your obliques for the best kind of side burn. “As you do a kick under, your core is constantly engaged, and the rotation isolates your obliques,” says Norris. “[Plus,] this exercise is great for correcting your posture and strengthening your core.”

And even though kick unders are oblique-focused, it works both your posterior chain (like your glutes and hamstrings) and your anterior chain (like your quads, deltoids, and core), so you’re putting your front and back to work in one well-balanced move, he adds.

Start by doing one minute of inchworms, then move onto one minute of kick unders, alternating sides. Do this for three sets, taking minimal rest breaks in between them. “By coupling these two movements together, you are exhausting your total body with the inchworms, and then isolating your core with the kick unders,” says Norris. 

Here’s how to do ‘em.

1. Inchworms — 1 min

INCHWORM

Whitney Thielman

  • Start standing with feet hip-width apart. Hinge forward at your hips and place your palms on the mat. You can bend your knees if needed to get your palms flat on the floor.
  • Walk your hands forward so that you’re in high plank. Your shoulders should be stacked directly above your wrists
  • Walk your hands back toward feet and stand up. 
  • That’s 1 rep, continue for 1 minute.

2. Kick-Unders — 1 min

KICK_UNDERS

Whitney Thielman

  • Start on all fours and tuck your toes. Lift your knees a few inches off the floor. For an extra challenge, start in high plank (like this)—just make sure you’ve mastered it first, says Norris.
  • Lift your left foot off the ground. Rotate your torso to the right and kick your left foot under and to the right, pivoting on your right foot. Lift your right hand off the ground.
  • Come back to starting position. That’s 1 rep. Repeat on the other side. Make sure your knees stay lifted off the ground. For an extra challenge, start in a high plank (like this)—just make sure 
  • Continue for 1 minute.

Repeat this circuit three times.

Creative moves like these guys may not be in your day-to-day workout, but once you try them (and feel the ~burn~), this might become the circuit you love to hate.

You may also like: A Simple Fat-Burning Workout You Can Do At Home

Related:

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Losing teeth raises older adults' risks for physical and mental disability

New research suggests that it is essential for older adults to receive adequate dental care, as well as the support they need to maintain good oral health self-care.

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Discrimination toward overweight adolescents predictive of emotional problems

Discrimination and bullying experienced by sixth graders who are overweight leads to emotional problems by the end of eighth grade, according to new research. The results suggest that to reduce the emotional problems, efforts must not only focus on children and adolescents' weight-loss, but must address the disrespectful and exclusionary behavior by their peer group.

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Rap1, a potential new target to treat obesity

A new mechanism in the mouse brain has been discovered that regulates obesity. The study shows that this new mechanism can potentially be targeted to treat obesity.

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The Abs-Defining Muscle You’re Not Working

Max-kegfire / Getty Images; Graphic by Dana Davenport

Even though there are a ton of great abs exercises out there, many tend to favor the upper abs or obliques. And, sure, those are great, but to build a stronger core you’ve got to challenge all of the muscles that make up the abdominals—that includes the rectus abdominis, internal obliques, external obliques, and even the one that’s too deep to see: the transverse abdominis.

“The transverse abdominis is an intrinsic core stabilizer, which means it helps stabilize your core and spine to help your body function correctly,” explains Cori Lefkowith, Orange County-based personal trainer and founder of Redefining Strength. This muscle is the deepest of the abdominal muscles, and is often referred to as the “corset muscle,” because it wraps around your sides and spine, Lefkowith explains. (It doesn’t actually attach to your spine though.)

It acts like a muscular girdle of sorts, protecting your lower back and helping to create that defined, nipped look when it’s worked along with the other muscles of your core. “Isolating and working one muscle alone will not give you a six pack,” says Lefkowith. But, having a strong transverse abdominis will create core stability. That stability will allow you to perform abs exercises properly, which will result in the visible definition you may be looking for.

“When engaged with other muscles of your core, it creates intra-abdominal pressure, bracing your core and tightening everything up,” says Lefkowith. That translates to lower-back pain prevention, she adds.

Learning how to activate the transverse abdominis can be challenging, but once you get the knack of it, your abs will work more effectively.

It can be difficult to recognize when you’re actually activating stabilizing muscles, like the transverse abdominis, explains Lefkowith. Whereas you can tell pretty quickly when you’re using some of your other muscles—for example, if you’re doing bicycle crunches properly, you’ll feel it in your obliques pretty quickly—it can be very difficult to know whether or not you’re engaging the deep muscles you can’t see or feel.

Lefkowith offers two suggestions for making sure you’re targeting the important but hidden muscle. “If you think about hollowing out your belly and drawing your belly button in toward your spine, you can learn to engage the muscle correctly,” she says. You can also try bracing to get it working. “You know you are engaging your core and contracting your transverse abdominis correctly when you tighten your stomach as if preparing to be punched in the gut,” says Lefkowit. “That reflexive tightening engages your abdominal muscles correctly.” Aim to create that sensation the next time you do core or compound exercises. Since this muscle is often neglected you really have to make a mental and physical effort to engage it, she adds.

Try these three exercises to activate and work your transverse abdominis (along with the rest of your core) at the beginning of a workout. 

“I would pick a few activation or isolation exercises, like the ones below, to include in your warm-up to make sure your core is working correctly before you even work out,” says Lefkowith. Really think about engaging your core here—including that deep transverse abdominis. “If you just let other muscles compensate, which can happen since our bodies take the path of least resistance, you won’t get as much out of the exercises,” she says.

Do 15 of each of these exercises (or, for the plank, five 10-second holds with minimal rest in between), then repeat for two to three sets total. If that’s too much, try 10 reps–or work your way up to 20 for an extra challenge.

1. Dead Bug — 15 reps

DEADBUG

Whitney Thielman

“This exercise is a great way to really focus on that hollow hold or the pelvic tilt and get those abs engaged correctly,” says Lefkowith.

  • Lie on your back with your feet in the air and knees bent 90 degrees. Raise your arms in the air so that your hands are directly above your shoulders.
  • Slowly extend your right leg in front of you and your left arm above your head, keeping your lower back pressed against the floor.
  • Return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
  • Do 15 reps.

2. Forearm Plank — 5 10-second holds

forearm-plank-1

Valerie Fischel

“These are a great way to learn to properly engage your core especially if you focus on shorter, more intense holds,” says Lefkowith.

  • Start with your forearms and knees on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Elbows should be stacked underneath the shoulders, your forearms straight in front of you on the ground.
  • Lift your knees off the ground and push your feet back to bring your body to full extension, so your body creates one long line.
  • Keep your core tight and your hips lifted, and keep your neck in line with your spine.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, take a brief break then repeat four more times.

3. Bird Dog Crunch — 15 reps

BIRDDOGCRUNCH

Whitney Thielman

“These work on core stability, and they activate the glutes as you work your abs,” says Lefkowith.

  • Start on your hands and knees in tabletop position with your wrists above your shoulders and your knees below your hips.
  • Inhale and extend your right arm forward and left leg back, maintaining a flat back and square hips.
  • Squeeze your abs and exhale as you draw your right elbow to your left knee.
  • Extend back out to start. Don’t forget to do both sides. 
  • Do 15 reps.

Isolated abs exercises can help with activating your whole core before a workout, but your abs should also be working during larger movements. Don’t forget to stay engaged during compound moves that work your core along with other muscle groups, says Lefkowith—think goblet squats, dumbbell thrusters, and deadlifts.

No matter what you’re doing during your workout though, keep those abs in the game–even (or especially) those deep ones.

You may also like: A Simple Fat-Burning Workout You Can Do At Home

Related:

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Healthy diet boosts children’s reading skills

A healthy diet is linked to better reading skills in the first three school years, shows a recent study.

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Reducing consumption of discretionary (unhealthy) foods and replacing them with core foods

New research shows the impact that substituting energy intake from discretionary foods (including sugar-sweetened beverages and confectionary) with healthier, core foods, and reducing levels of added sugar in discretionary foods could have in the diet of the Australian population.

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8 Women Share The Workout Tips That Helped Them Reach Their Weight-Loss Goals

Courtesy of Danni Mexon; Bahle ForbesWhitney Curtis; Helen Woldemichael/Graphic by Valerie Fischel, Dana Davenport

There’s endless workout advice out there, but no matter how great a tip is, that doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for your life. Finding what works for you in your fitness journey is a major part of achieving your goals, whether that’s a number on the scale, finally mastering a tough move, or anything in between.

These eight women chased down their goals by discovering the creative habits, simple tweaks, and manageable lifestyle changes that made a big difference for them. Check out their handy, honest tips below, and you just might find something that works for you, too.

1. Create a virtual support system for added motivation.

Courtesy of Carly DiBiase/Graphic by Dana Davenport

“I had this group of girls I chatted with on WhatsApp every day that really helped push me. We all haven’t been as active in that particular group chat lately, but I still keep in touch with a lot of friends I’ve made through Instagram (including those girls) on a regular basis. They are always killing their workouts and are super supportive, so all I have to do is tell them I don’t feel like working out, and they’ll remind me to get off my butt and get it done!”

—Carly DiBiase, @tiudeebs

2. Have a plan for the days when you really, really don’t feel like working out.

Courtesy of Danni Mexon/Graphic by Dana Davenport

“I find that taking a moment to look back on my progress, and a quick scroll through all the inspirational girls I follow on Instagram, gives me that extra kick of motivation to get my butt moving and start. Another tip that worked for me is to get straight into my workout gear [when I get home from work]—if you are dressed for the occasion, you are more likely to get it done!”

—Danni Mexon, @dannimex87

3. Mix up your workouts and don’t be afraid to include lower-intensity classes to balance things out.

shape-up-bahle-forbes

Courtesy of Bahle Forbes/Graphic by Dana Davenport

“I do a lot of strength training that leaves my body a little stiff, so yoga is relaxing and pretty challenging.”

—Bahle Forbes, @bahleforbes 

4. Focus on something other than your weight or clothing size.

Courtesy of Kayte Hennick/Graphic by Dana Davenport

“Losing weight has taught me that I’m capable of so much more than I would have ever given myself credit for. I went from getting exhausted walking up a flight of stairs to hiking 13 miles to the top of a 14,000-foot mountain. My fiancĂ© and I have been talking about training for a half marathon that climbs that same mountain—big things to come! My life was limited by my weight, and now I’m free to really live an active and healthy life.”

—Kayte Hennick, @kaytedoesit

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Weight loss drug's effect on the brain revealed in study

A weight-loss drug dampened the response to food cues in regions of the brain associated with attention and emotion, leading to decreases in caloric intake, weight and body mass index (BMI), a team has reported. In the first study of the drug lorcaserin in the human brain, the research revealed the mechanism underlying the drug’s efficacy and provides insight into which individuals may benefit most from the medication.

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Maternal gastric bypass may be associated with low birth weight babies

Women who undergo gastric bypass surgery for weight loss risk giving birth to babies that are small or have lower average birth weights.

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X-rays: The first and best screening tool in diagnosing knee pain among middle-aged patients

Knee pain is common among Americans age 40 and up. Nearly one in 17 people visit doctors' offices each year for knee pain or injuries from osteoarthritis -- a progressive 'wear and tear' disease of the joints. Now a new study shows that a simple X-ray is frequently the best diagnostic tool, reducing both time and cost.

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Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa)

A news update on kratom from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).



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This Lunge Variation Targets Your Butt And Hips Better Than The Regular Kind

DeanDrobot / Getty Images

These days, curtsying isn’t really a thing in everyday life—but it should be at the gym. Curtsy lunges, that is. While classic lunges are still great, this ~fancy~ variation works muscles of your lower body that the regular kind doesn’t target as effectively.

“With this lunge variation, you’re not just targeting your gluteus maximus [which is the largest and outermost glute muscle] like a standard lunge does. The curtsy lunge also activates your stabilizer muscles, inner and outer thighs, and hip abductor muscles,” says Taylor Gainor, co-founder of LIT Method, an LA-based fitness studio that focuses on low-impact training. “Activating your stabilizing muscles helps with balance and strengthens your core,” Gainor adds, and targeting the smaller muscles of your glutes will help create strength and more definition. Plus, y’know, you’ll master the art of the perfect curtsy.

Rather than alternate sides like you might with a regular lunge, it’s best to do all reps on one side before switching to the other. “This is so you can focus on your stability first and then your range of motion,” explains Gainor. These elements help ensure you’re receiving all of the benefits from this lower-body move. 

Check out how to do a cursty lunge with a kick below—the kick to the side adds a little extra oomph to your hip and outer thigh at the end of each rep.

Curtsy Lunge With Kick

CURTSY_LUNGE_SIDEKICK

Whitney Thielman

  • Start standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Lift your left leg off the ground and step your left foot diagonally behind you, bending both knees to lower your butt toward the floor. Be sure to keep your chest lifted and your spine long.
  • There are a couple errors to watch out for here. “The common mistake we see with the curtsy lunge is that most people place their feet too close together,” Gainor says. Also, make sure your front knee doesn’t go past your right toes.
  • Driving through your right heel, come back to standing. Kick your left foot out to your left side, and move directly into the next rep without placing your left foot back on the ground.
  • That’s 1 rep, do 15 to 20. Make sure you keep a slow and and controlled tempo, Gainor says. Switch sides, and do three sets total on each side. 

You may also like: 9 Easy Stretches For Tight Hips

Related:

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Eating your greens could enhance sport performance

Nitrate supplementation in conjunction with Sprint Interval Training in low oxygen conditions could enhance sport performance a study has found. Nitrate is commonly found in diets rich in leafy green foods, like spinach and is important for the functioning of the human body, especially during exercising.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

The pleasures and perils of protein: Fruit fly study reveals new clues to appetite and aging

Why do we -- and the fruit flies that sometimes inhabit our kitchens -- seek out protein-full foods when we're running on empty? And what does that preference mean for the odds of living a longer life, whether it's measured in decades for a human, or days for a fly? New research suggests that a brain chemical may have a lot to do with both questions.

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Teenage weight gain down to dramatic drop in calories they burn

An acceleration in obesity among young teenagers could be explained by a 12-year-long study which found that the number of calories they burn while at rest drops suddenly in puberty.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Six-day clinical trial finds integrative medicine program alters blood serum

In a novel controlled clinical trial, participants in a six-day Ayurvedic-based well-being program that featured a vegetarian diet, meditation, yoga and massages experienced measurable decreases in a set of blood-based metabolites associated with inflammation, cardiovascular disease risk and cholesterol regulation.

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This New Hoodie Is MADE For People Who Never Want To Take Off Their Headphones

Here is three-time Olympic medalist Tori Bowie wearing the new hoodie.

Whether you’re crossing the starting line on race day, adding a few weight plates to the barbell before a deadlift, or tackling new choreography during a dance cardio class, getting in the right frame of mind is essential if you want to bring your A game. 

Athletes use everything from motivational mantras (such as gymnast Laurie Hernandez’s pre-competition “I got this” whisper) to a mood-setting pre-race playlist to create a distraction-free zone. To help you get in a champion mindset, Adidas just launched a new line of apparel called Athletics, a collection that features their new Z.N.E. Hoodie. (Z.N.E. is an acronym for zero negative energy.) The concept behind the outerwear is that it will help athletes—including you—find focus before tackling a workout. The hoodie ($100, adidas.com), just launched this week and I had a chance to try it out after attending the launch event in NYC.

Ultimately, it’s what you’d expect a fitness hoodie to be. The mostly cotton fabric is heavy enough to transition to cooler temperatures. The full-zip is great (not enough hoodies use this IMO), and there’s ample space in the front zippered pockets for all of my goodies. Again, zippers are key—this means I won’t constantly be checking to see if my items have fallen out. I’ve been burned in the past.

Here I am, giving my best, don’t interrupt me while I’m in the editing zone look, along with a much nicer looking product shot from Adidas.

Here’s where it differs a bit: the high neck and hood depth. Once winter weather hits, this high neck (I’m talking nostril-level) is going to come in handy when it comes to protecting my neck and face against the cold, windy elements. And the hood accommodates everything: top knot—check, over-the-ear headphones—check, both of these things together—check. I tested it with a few different over-the-ear headphones and all fit. And while a jacket hood is great for eliminating distractions (small chat included), a deep hood that stays in place is also really great at protecting my curly hair from the rain when I’m wearing it straight. Win-win.

One thing I think is missing though, is a tiny slit or hole near the neck or chest to slip my headphone wire through—I like having options. But I guess we’ll all be transitioning to wireless headphones soon enough (thanks Apple).

For more fitness gear picks, check out these 21 pairs of comfy and stylish workout leggings.

Related:

You may also like: Try This 10-Minute Plyometric Workout You Can Do At Home

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Julianne Hough Shares Her Weekly Workout Routine

This Mat Exercise Will Transform Your Core

Max-kegfire / Getty Images

If you’ve taken a Pilates or yoga class recently your instructor has definitely asked you to hold Boat Pose. This move challenges you mentally and physically—it isn’t easy to balance as your abs are shaking from the intensity—and it’s a go-to exercise for strengthening your core, including those hard-to-reach abs muscles.

“It effectively targets the deep core including the transverse abdominis and the psoas, which are key for posture and alignment as well as the key to a lean torso,” explains Erika Bloom, Pilates instructor and founder of Erika Bloom Pilates. You’ll need both strength and endurance to hold this pose, she adds—and, considering how many things we use our core for, building endurance in those muscles is definitely a bonus. “We recruit our core muscles 24 hours a day to move, breathe, and function, and they should be active throughout any type of workout,” she says.

To properly activate your core muscles in this pose you want to imagine that you are bringing your belly button to meet your spine. By doing this you should feel your lower abs contract. You also want to make sure that your spine is long (no hunching!) without having your chest pop forward—so think about bringing your ribs in, too.

But your abs aren’t the only muscles working during this move. “Boat Pose teaches the integration of full-body engagement with core facilitation,” explains Bloom. That means you need to keep your core muscles engaged in order to remain balanced, but you’ll also be using tension in your arms and legs—think tightness in your core and extension through your appendages. This tension is the sensation you want to achieve when instructors tell you to “tighten your abs” during moves that don’t feel like traditional abs exercises (what’s up burpees and push-ups).

Even though Boat Pose a great teaching exercise for your core, don’t think of it as training wheels for other abs moves—it’s still tough as hell. Here’s how to do it.

Boat Pose

boat-pose

Valerie Fischel

  • Sit with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Grasp your legs under your thighs, slightly above your knees.
  • Lean back slightly. Lift your feet off the floor so that your shins are parallel to the floor. 
  • Extend your arms straight out in front of your at shoulder height, with palms facing up.
  • Keep your knees bent for 30 seconds, suggests Bloom. Take this time to really engage your deep abdominal muscles and lengthen your spine, keeping your chest open. 
  • Place your feet back on the ground and relax for a few breaths. Then, do it a second time—this time, straighten and raise your legs toward the ceiling until your body forms a V shape (as shown). “Focus on keeping your abdominals pulled in deep and your spine long,” says Bloom.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute, if you can keep the proper form. “If you find that you are losing your form, maintain bent knees for the second set,” says Bloom. “Doing it right is key to getting the benefits!”

Hey, as they say, anything worth doing is worth doing right—especially with the awesome benefits of Boat Pose.

You may also like: A Simple Fat-Burning Workout You Can Do At Home

Related:

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A 10-Minute Bodyweight Workout You Can Do During Your Lunch Break Without Getting Too Sweaty

Egill Bjarki/Getty Images

Working out during your lunch break always sounds like a great idea. That is until you realize there isn’t enough time to shower and get ready all over again—dry shampoo can only work so many miracles.

The lunchtime solution is a quick routine that works your entire body in 10 minutes. That should leave you with plenty of time to rinse off, but there aren’t any high-intensity, sweat-inducing cardio moves included in workout, developed for SELF by Jessica Bolbach, owner of NYC fitness studio KORE, in case you want to skip a shower entirely. When you’re done training, you’ll be feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the afternoon—and your co-workers won’t smell a thing.

Head to the gym or find some green space outdoors and get to work. This routine doesn’t require any equipment so you can do it anywhere that works best for you. Time staaaarts…now!

How To Do The Workout: Perform each move for two minutes, taking 30-second break after each exercise.

Do as many reps as you can in the allotted time. 

1. Bodyweight Squats — 2 minutes 

squat_2

Whitney Thielman

  • Start standing with feet just slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Sit your butt back into a squat, without letting your knees go past your toes. Make sure your weight is in your heels, and keep your chest up. (Read this for more form tips.)
  • Continue for two minutes.

~Rest for 30 seconds~

2. Push-Ups — 2 minutes

PUSH_UP (2)

Whitney Thielman

  • Start in high plank with your hands about shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your arms and lower your chest as close to the floor as you can.
  • Push back up to a plank.
  • Continue for two minutes.

~Rest for 30 seconds~

3. Planks With T Rotation — 1 minute on each arm with a 30-second break between sides

PLANKTROTATION

Whitney Thielman

  • Start in high plank with your feet hip-distance apart.
  • Now rotate your entire body to the right into a side plank with your left shoulder above your left wrist.
  • Extend your right arm to the ceiling and continue to drive your hips up.
  • Return your right arm down to high plank. Continue for one minute. Then rest 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

~Rest for 30 seconds~

4. Standing Oblique Crunches — 2 minutes

STANDING_OBLIQUE_CRUNCH

Whitney Thielman

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands behind your head and elbows wide.
  • Lift your left knee toward your left elbow while you bend your torso up and over to the left. 
  • Bring your left foot back to standing and repeat on the other side, lifting your right knee towards your right elbow.
  • Continue for two minutes, alternating sides with each rep.

You may also like: A Simple Fat-Burning Workout You Can Do At Home

Related:

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SELF Is Bringing UpNOut Studio Back To NYC For A Weekend Of Ultimate Workouts

Mikolette / Getty Images

Working out is fun, but working out with a bunch of friends and strangers who love to work up a sweat as much as you do is seriously amazing. So we’ve rounded up 22 of our favorite trainers and next-level workouts all under one roof for a weekend of sweat-filled goodness at the SELF UpNOut Studio event.

UpNOut Studio is a two-day, immersive fitness extravaganza. The energy, the intensity, the laughs, the swag—it’s all going down on October 15 and 16 in New York City and you’re invited to get your sweat on with us. There are exclusive classes, post-workout beauty bars, healthy snacks, foam rolling workshops, and more—it’s a complete fitness takeover aimed at helping your feel and look your best. Check out a clip from last year’s event below to get a little taste of what’s in store.

You can see the full schedule of events here, but here’s a preview of what you can expect:

  • A class with Y7 Studio will clear your head and the flows will seriously work your abs. The studio is known for their hip hop-heavy playlist and Drake + Sun Salutations = the perfect combo.
  • Aerospace is bringing their cardio-sculpting boxing workout (the one that Victoria’s Secret models love) to the event. Making it through the 50-minute class will not be easy, but it’s great way to finally try a boxing-inspired workout with friends.
  • There are also high-energy dance cardio classes, make-your-muscles-shake barre workouts, team-inspired indoor cycling rides, fat-burning kettlebell training, and hardcore boot camp options if you really want to up the ante.

A ticket costs $35 and will get you one studio class, a swag-tastic tote bag filled with lots of goodies and passes to the featured studios, a subscription to SELF magazine (to keep those good vibes going all year long), and access to UpNOut Lounge which features a braid bar, healthy bites, mini massages, and meditation sessions. You can also add a one 30-minute bonus class (space permitting).

Spots are limited, you can purchase a ticket here. Fall means back to school—and fitness classes are now in session.

Related:

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Upcoming Lecture to Explore Research on Tai Chi and Aging-Related Risks

On Monday, September 12, at 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. ET, Peter Wayne, Ph.D., will give the first talk in the Fall 2016 Integrative Medicine Research Lecture Series, on “‘Minding’ Our Bodies: Research on the Impact of Tai Chi on Cognitive-neuromuscular Interactions in Older Adults.”  The lecture will take place on the NIH campus, and will be streamed live and archived for later viewing at videocast.nih.gov.  



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Three in four don't know obesity causes cancer

Three out of four people in the United Kingdom are unaware of the link between obesity and cancer, according to a new report. The nationwide survey found that people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are less likely to know about the link. And men are less likely than women to be aware of the increased risk of cancer caused by obesity.

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The 2 week belly blasting diet

Article Sep 9, 2016

Want a flat stomach pronto? Nutritionist Christine Bailey has devised a fat-burning plan to leave you slimmer and toned in just a fortnight



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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Open floor plans may lead to more eating

Dining environments can have serious consequences for eating behaviors, say investigators. The study findings may have important implications not only for college and university students, but also for people who need to eat in health care, group home and military settings.

from Diet and Weight Loss News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/2bVZCfK

'Deeply-unsettling' weight discrimination in the workplace highlighted

Women face weight-based prejudice in the workplace – even when their body mass index (BMI) is within the healthy range, research led by a University of Strathclyde academic has found.

from Diet and Weight Loss News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/2c8tjN5

Excess weight in women has different effects on different types of stroke

Women who are overweight or obese may have an increased risk of the most common kind of stroke, called ischemic stroke, but a decreased risk of a more often deadly stroke, called hemorrhagic stroke, new research shows.

from Diet and Weight Loss News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/2ccHC47

Traumatic Brain Injury: FDA Research and Actions

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen to anyone. And these types of injuries, which include concussions, contribute to a substantial number of emergency room visits (and even deaths) each year. Learn about TBI and the FDA's related research and regulatory activities.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

High variability suggests glycemic index is unreliable indicator of blood sugar response

The glycemic index value of a food can vary by 20 percent within an individual and 25 percent among individuals, according to the results of a controlled feeding trial in 63 healthy adults. The findings suggest glycemic index has limited value in predicting how foods affect blood sugar levels.

from Diet and Weight Loss News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/2ckZ2fZ

Antidepressant bone loss could be prevented with beta-blockers

The antidepressant fluoxetine causes bone loss by instructing the brain to send out signals that increase bone breakdown, but a beta-blocker can intercept the signals, a new study in mice has found.

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European standards to prevent repeat heart attacks launched today

European standards to prevent repeat heart attacks have now been released. The consensus document outlines the steps patients and healthcare professionals can take to prevent recurrent heart attacks.

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This Is What Happens When You Don’t Eat After A Workout

Most nutritionists recommend eating something within 30 minutes after a workout. Your body, after using up its available energy, needs to be refueled. Specifically with carbs and protein—for energy and to repair the microdamage that exercise does to your muscles.

We’re all busy, though. And sometimes, fitting in a workout means squeezing it into a quick 30-minute window and then rushing off to the next obligation. If you don’t have a protein bar or other handy snack packed, getting those nutrients in may not actually happen. But if skipping a post-workout nosh becomes a habit, you risk sabotaging your fitness goals.

“Some people will just feel fatigue, and some people can get disoriented from low blood sugar,” Jennifer Beck, M.D., sports medicine specialist and pediatric orthopedist at UCLA, tells SELF. She also notes that ignoring post-workout steps that are essential for recovery, like proper nutrition, can contribute to overuse injuries. “We think a lot of overuse injuries happen when people are not replacing essential building blocks as readily as they should,” Beck says. This can especially become a problem if you’re doing heavy muscle-building activities and neglecting what your body needs to repair microtears and damage. Fixing those tears is how your body builds muscle; failing to do so puts your muscles at risk of further damage next time you work out.

Food also contains electrolytes, minerals our bodies need to keep the muscles and nerves firing correctly. “If you had a very sweaty workout, replacing calcium, salt, and potassium, all part of standard food consumption, is also very important,” says Beck. If you tend to get super sweaty, or you’re working out on a hot day or going for a long training run, you’ll lose some of these things in your sweat. “If you’re not able to immediately replace them, it can be devastating and damaging.” Dehydration and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can both set in quickly and make you feel disoriented or even pass out. In rare cases, lack of electrolytes can throw off the electrical impulses that keep the heart beating properly, leading to cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat.

If you’re going to remember one thing, though, make it water. “Water is the most important building block you need after a workout,” Beck says. And during, for that matter. In the end, the one thing you really don’t want to skip is rehydrating to replace any water you lost through sweating.

Skipping a post-workout meal every once in a while isn’t a huge deal, but it should never become a habit. “You want to set yourself up for good patterns,” Beck says, because developing healthy habits is the easiest way to prevent burnout and injury. Exercise should be fun and bring you positive health benefits, not end in muscle tears or stress fractures. “Both hydration and nutrition are important parts of having healthy exercise habits.”

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